Record Industry Sues the Dead for File Sharing

By Jon Newton 2/5/05

One of the concepts found in our legal system is that of reasonable doubt, you know, the thing that got O.J. off. It is clearly something to think about in a few months when the record industry stands before the Supreme Court next month and cries of the horrors of file trading. Everybody is guilty, everyone is wronging them. This is a FACT.

Facts like their insistance that an 83 year old woman without a computer traded files under the moniker 'smittenedkitten'. Oh yeah, and this woman is dead. A reflection of the accuracy of the record industry's legal campaign against file sharers -- editor

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In its biggest cock-up yet, the Big Music cartel’s RIAA has sued a dead woman who didn’t even own a computer.

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), “sued Gertrude Walton, accusing her of illegally trading music over the Internet as "smittenedkitten," says the Associated Press, going on:

“But the lawsuit was filed more than a month after the 83-year-old woman died in December, and her daughter says Walton hated computers, anyway.”

Walton was the sole defendant in a federal lawsuit that claimed she’d shared more than 700 songs through p2p networks.

But Robin Chianumba said her mother objected to having a computer in the house and, "wouldn't know how to turn on a computer," says AP.

The dead woman’s daughter faxed a copy of her mother's death certificate to record company officials several days before the lawsuit was filed, in response to a letter from the company regarding the upcoming legal filing.

"I am pretty sure she is not going to leave Greenwood Memorial Park (where she is buried) to attend the hearing," AP quotes Chianumba as saying, adding that RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy says the record label enforcement organization, “will now, of course, obviously dismiss this case”.

Stay tuned


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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Other MP3 stories:
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The Digital Media Losers of 2004

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